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Legal options for Liverpool following VAR error: Oliver Millichap for The i

Posted on 3 October 2023

Associate Oliver Millichap spoke with The i following a controversial VAR failure in which a goal scored by Liverpool Football Club was wrongly disallowed during a Premier League football match against Tottenham Hotspur.

Liverpool reacted to the incident by stating that sporting integrity was "undermined" and that the club will "explore the range of options available given the clear need for escalation and resolution." Oliver explained to The i that it will be difficult for Liverpool to seek legal redress.

He commented: “Whilst it is undoubtedly frustrating for Liverpool and its supporters, this is clearly not the first incorrect decision involving VAR since it was introduced, nor will it be the last. However, a disgruntled club will find it extremely difficult to successfully bring a challenge against the Premier League, the PGMOL and the match day officials in connection with the incident for a number of reasons. The laws of the game specifically make it clear that any decision by the referee on the pitch is final. These laws even go as far as declaring that match officials will not be liable for any loss a club may suffer due to any decision taken in accordance with the laws of the game.

“Had an incident like this taken place towards the end of the season, and the decision – or lack of – had a significant impact on that club’s season – such as missing out on the Champions League or title itself – it wouldn’t be completely surprising if the disgruntled club at least attempted to bring a claim – potentially against the Premier League itself – albeit, I suspect the chance of success would still be low."

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